Pictures

I’m picturing you, asleep in a chair I’ve
made up next to a half-drunk glass of wine
that doesn’t exist. You look as though today
took a week so I don’t disturb you. Instead,
I walk quietly about the room, tracing with
my fingertips a stack of books I imagine you’d
like and gently lifting the remote to turn off
the film we were watching. Another un-memory.
Of you. Predictable doesn’t quite cover it.

I’ve pictured you in Paris, when I stood alone,
soaked in the shade of a regiment of sycamores
and thinking of Pissarro. The artist, it seems,
forgot to paint you in so I’ll do it for him. You’re
wearing light coloured trousers and a cerulean shirt.
Above us the grey slate rooftops stop the sun in her
tracks and banish her down a back alley so that she
emerges furtively, hurriedly in a stream of light on
the corner; falling – of course – on you.

And I’ve pictured us, driving through a nameless
city on a dateless night and though I’m pressed
against my window, watching lights that don’t belong
to anyone dance on the horizon, I have never felt closer
to you. Even the handbrake between us doesn’t bother
me because it’s us – you and I – alone now and isn’t that
what I always wanted? There’s a song playing somewhere
in the darkness, except I invented that – it’s the one I
listened to again and again three summers ago and you
never knew, even then.

We’ve been everywhere together, haven’t we, you and I?

Seventy days and nights now since I saw your face and
god help me, it’s fading. I’ll invent anything, everything
but you. I need to see you, need to stitch back together your
dipped eyes and their shy smile, join the dots between the
curve of your brow and the watch on your wrist. Please.
I ask for nothing more – no questions answered, no judgements
pronounced, not even the realisation– at last – that you, to me,
are everything. Just to see you, oh to see you and love you quietly.

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